Throwing in the Towel

There are some days, when I wake up to the cries of my youngest son, or the whining ,” Mooooommmmmy, Mom, Mama” of my toddler, that I want to throw in the towel. I want to declare that mommy isn’t home or, better yet, promptly send them to daddy.

I was having one of those days today. Thankfully, it was finally bedtime after a loooong day of missed naps and tears. J insisted on nursing before bed, which I found particularly annoying as I still had to nurse A after J went to bed, and time was beginning to slip away. After letting him nurse for a few minutes I told J it was time to go to bed. He grumbled, and requested I sing “Baba” or as you may know it “Baba black sheep.”

Now, this is a slippery slope with my big boy. Nobody negotiates as well as a motivated toddler. The thing is, they have the trump card. They know you don’t want to see them unhappy and they have no problem exploiting this knowledge. Singing to J at bedtime can often turn into a twenty-minute affair, with him endlessly requesting one more time, or a different song, and end in tears when you finally decline his request to continue singing. Against my better judgement, I acquiesced and started singing. After two rounds I said, “Night, night baby. I love you, sweet dreams.”

I was expecting pleading, I was expecting tears, and I was prepared to deal with the worst. Instead my sweet little angel smiled and looked up at me, with huge eyes and long eyelashes, and said, “Agaaain.” Barely containing a little giggle. My sweet little boy, from whom I was expecting the worst, conveyed so much love and gratitude in that one word that I couldn’t help but smile and laugh with him. And with one more “Baba”, a giggle, and a kiss I left him to drift off to sleep feeling a little lighter and a whole lot happier.

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